Saturday, January 14, 2012

More on the Afghanistan Jewish manuscript cache

MORE ON THE AFGHANISTAN CACHE OF JEWISH MANUSCRIPTS, which it turns out may not be a geniza. The Toronto Star has an article that contains new details:
Medieval Jewish manuscripts discovered in Afghanistan include an unknown work by Saadia Gaon

Published On Fri Jan 13 2012

Leslie Scrivener Feature Writer

This much is known: rare, medieval Jewish manuscripts have been discovered along the fabled Silk Road in Afghanistan and are for sale.

Are they authentic? Scholars who have examined them say they are.

The rest — who found them, where they came from, whether there are more to unearth — remains a mystery.

But the discovery of the 200 or more documents, some in good condition and others crumpled or in fragments, has excited academic interest around the world.

Earlier reports said there were 150. I'm not sure whether this new reckoning of 200+ manuscripts indicates that more have surfaced; the article says the number is still uncertain due to the unfortunate wide dispersion of the fragments. I don't seen anything new in the list of contents later in the article, although it does add the new information (or impression) that "[m]any of the pages are torn from books," perhaps indirectly confirming my earlier comment that the manuscripts would likely have been codices rather than scrolls. Also, there is a new version of the story of the discovery:
Ben-Shammai notes that tales of how such caches are found are often colourful and difficult to verify.

“There is a story, whether it is true or not I am not able to judge,” he says. In this case, the saga goes like this, “A bunch of foxes were living in a cave and attracted the attention of some villagers . . . ”
An earlier account involved a shepherd searching a wolves' den for lost sheep, and there were apparently other accounts, all involving shepherds searching for sheep.

Shaul Shaked says that the fragments did not come from a Geniza:
Shaked said the site is not a geniza, a repository of Hebrew texts that cannot be ordinarily disposed of because they contain God’s name. These storerooms are usually located in or near synagogues or cemeteries. This discovery is much smaller than the great Cairo Geniza, in the Ben Ezra Synagogue, which holds more than 200,000 fragmentary remains.

“We don’t have any indication that the place where this was found was a synagogue,” says Shaked. “This was likely a cave in which people in distress placed documents they cherished and had to flee because of some danger.”
He seems to be speculating here, since he doesn't specify any particular danger mentioned in the texts.

Also, any connection with the lost ten tribes, floated earlier by Robert Eisenman, is (soundly) dismissed by Ben Shammai:
Some reports have speculated about a link to the 10 lost tribes of Israel, a suggestion Ben-Shammai dismisses. “I’m sorry to sound so skeptical, but I don’t believe a word of the story of the lost tribes. I know it is a very popular notion, but there is no reason to believe they were lost. They assimilated with local populations or other Jewish populations.”
HT Tony Burke. Background here and here.

$1 million for SBTS DSS exhibit

A MILLION DOLLARS for the upcoming Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at Southwestern Bapitist Theological Seminary:
Couple's donation aids Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Posted Friday, Jan. 13, 2012 0 Comments Print Reprints

Topics: Bibles

Tags: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, donations

By Jessamy Brown

FORT WORTH -- A $1 million donation from a Houston couple will help fund an exhibit of fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls slated to open in July at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Gary Loveless, founder and chief executive of Houston-based Square Mile Energy, and his wife, Stephanie, made the donation, officials announced in a news release Friday.

Good for Southwestern, although I think its a pity that the donors tie the money to an affirmation of biblical inerrancy. But it's their money and they can do what they like with it.

Background on the Scroll fragments at SBTS and the exhibition is here and links.

Annual Seminar for Study of OT in New

The Annual Seminar for the Study of the Old Testament in the New will take place from 29-31st March, 2012 at St Deiniol's Library, Hawarden, N.Wales. The inclusive cost will be approximately £150. Enquiries and Booking forms are available from Steve Moyise ( and there are still a couple of slots left for papers. If you would like to offer a paper, please send a title and short abstract (100 words) to Steve.
From the BNTS list.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Talpiot tomb again

MARK GOODACRE: Returning to the Talpiot Tomb.

I haven't paid much attention to the Talpiot-Tomb discussion lately, but this is the first I remember hearing that some people think Jesus had a son named Judas. I fully agree with Mark and his commenter that this is not likely, for obvious reasons.

I have collected links to many of my past posts on the Talpiot Tomb here. And note my comment about peer-review publications.

UPDATE: James McGrath has links to additional recent discussion: Further Interaction About the Talpiot Tomb.

Biblioblogospheric book notes

Apri De Conick (Forbidden Gospels): Book Note: Dark Mirrors by Andrei A. Orlov.

Noted earlier here.

Mark Goodacre (NT Blog): Jesus, Criteria and the Demise of Authenticity

I can't say I'm sorry to see the demise of the authenticity criteria for Jesus logia, if that is really what's happening. Those criteria, at least as applied in recent decades, have seemed to me to be weighted toward "recovering" a historical Jesus who turns out to be a 1980s American humanities professor. Related thoughts here and here.

Duane Smith on rabbinic omen-diviners

DUANE SMITH has a note on rabbinic omen-diviners over at Abnormal Interests: The Rabbis On מנחש.

Related, sort of: “Snakes, Why Did It Have To Be Snakes.”

New book: Dušek, "Aramaic and Hebrew Inscriptions from Mt. Gerizim and Samaria between Antiochus III and Antiochus IV Epiphanes"

NEW BOOK: Jan Dušek, Aramaic and Hebrew Inscriptions from Mt. Gerizim and Samaria between Antiochus III and Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Brill):
The theme of the book stands on the intersection of epigraphy and historical research: the Aramaic and Hebrew inscriptions discovered in the vicinity of the Yahwistic sanctuary on Mt. Gerizim and their historical background. The study addresses the evidence from three perspectives: the paleography and dating of the inscriptions; the identity of the community who carved them and its institutions; and, finally, the larger historical and political context in which the inscriptions were produced. This book is particularly useful for historians of Palestine in the Second Temple period, for biblical scholars, and for those dealing with Aramaic and Hebrew paleography and epigraphy.
Via the Agade list. An earlier book by Jan Dušek on the Samaria Papyri is noted here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Another representation of the Temple Mount without the Islamic shrines

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (again, sort of): Haaretz has dug up another representation by the Israeli Government of the Temple Mount without the the Islamic shrines on it.
Prime minister's gift omits Muslim holy sites, inflaming passions

This week in Haaretz, 1997.
Tags: Haifa Benjamin Netanyahu Jerusalem Yasser Arafat

As the new year of 1997 dawned, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Haifa to visit the head of the Greek Catholic Church in Israel, Archbishop Maximos Salloum. Netanyahu gave the archbishop a silver engraving of the Old City of Jerusalem and wished him a happy new year.

Soon, a rumor spread that the gift lacked several key elements. Haaretz reporter Joseph Algazi called the archbishop, who acknowledged that the Muslim holy places, the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, did not appear on the engraving. Instead there was "an approximation of the Second Temple," a Jewish holy site.

"What could I have done, returned the present to the prime minister? I respect all people and all religions. The question of why the prime minister decided to give me such a gift should be asked of him, not me," the archbishop told Haaretz.

The office of the prime minister's media adviser also confirmed the report and said that the prime minister's bureau had acquired several copies of the same engraving.

"We didn't notice that the Al Aqsa mosque was missing," somebody from the office said. "Of course there was no intent on our part to insult any part of the population, and this was the result of carelessness. It was a mistake. If anyone's feelings were hurt, we apologize."

But the Arab public, still smarting from the opening of the Western Wall tunnels months earlier, were not mollified. The spokesman of the Islamic Movement in Israel, the vice mayor of Umm al-Fahm, Sheikh Hashem Abed al Rahman, told Algazi that "the gift Netanyahu offered was a serious provocation of the feelings of all Muslims around the world. It was like a declaration of war on the entire Muslim world."

Having had some success in stirring things up by making an issue of the photoshopped picture of the Temple Mount without the Dome of the Rock, which was recently distributed (possibly mistakenly) by the IDF rabbinate, Haaretz has gone through its archives and revived a story from 1997 to try to stir things up some more.

But this case looks rather different to me. The Prime Minister's office gave the Archbishop an engraving of "the Old City of Jerusalem" that had the Second Temple, rather than the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the Temple Mount. Was this a statement that the Israeli Government wanted to tear down the latter shrines and rebuild the Temple on the site? Isn't it rather more likely that the engraving was intended to represent Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, in which case it would have been an anachronism to put the Islamic shrines there? The panicked reaction of the PM's office doesn't really answer the question, nor does the response of certain Muslim spokesmen, nor, strangely does the article itself (which does not bother to include a picture of the actual engraving).

Does anyone have a photo of the engraving which they can share with us? Unless it can be shown that the engraving was incitement to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount, which I rather doubt, this is much ado about nothing from long ago.
At an Islamic conference held in Pakistan in 1997, Palestinian Authority head Yasser Arafat displayed a picture of the Temple Mount area which showed the Temple in place of the mosques.

Reporter Uzi Benziman wrote in Haaretz that the prevailing wisdom was that the picture was a version of the engraving given to the archbishop by Netanyahu. "Despite the apology, the picture of the empty Temple Mount landscape found its way to Arafat, and he knew how to make use of it at the conference," Benziman wrote.

Arafat claimed that Israel was the source of the picture and that it "expressed the malicious intentions of the Netanyahu government to uproot the Muslim presence in the holy city and Judaize the Haram al-Sharif completely."
The article also fails to note that not long after this, at the 2000 Camp David Summit, Arafat denied that there was ever a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, which rather erodes his moral authority to be outraged here.

Temple Institute in Jerusalem

CITYsights: Jewish temple brought to Life

01/10/2012 15:45

How a visit to the Institute's museum can bring the reality of the Jewish temple to life.

Founded in 1987, the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem is dedicated to the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. The Institute focuses a lot of energy on practically preparing the fine details for the Third Temple as well as lighting the flame of the temple in Jewish hearts through seminars, publications, conferences, and the production of educational materials.

The Institute has created replicas of many of the ritual objects used in the Temple, including the Temple vessels, trumpets, and priestly vestments, all constructed according to Biblical specifications and ready to be put into service should the need arise. After many years of effort, the Institute has completed the three most significant and central vessels of the Divine service: the seven-branched Menorah made of pure gold; the golden Incense Altar, and the golden Table of the Showbread.


1. There's a nice 60-second video of some of the replicas, which look cool.

2. The article might have indicated what the Institute plans to do about the Islamic shrines that are already there on the Temple Mount. This is not a trivial issue.

3. Again (and again and again), no digging on the Temple Mount Platform apart from scientific archaeological excavations. Preferably not even those. Let's wait a couple of decades until we can use non-destructive scanning and molecular technologies to uncover what's there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Treasure-hunting idiots damage archaeological site

TREASURE-HUNTING IDIOTS have damaged an archaeological site near Beit Shemesh: Gold diggers ravage archeological site: Two Bedouins from Dimona destroy 2,000-year-old well in search for tall tale buried treasure (Omri Efraim, YnetNews).
"Baseless fairytales about buried treasures make people crazy," said Amir Ganor, who heads the Antiquities Authority's theft prevention unit.

(Via Joseph I. Lauer and the Agade List.)

Job in ANE and Classics at CT State

JOB: Assistant professor at Connecticut State to teach Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman Classics.

WSJ on Aramaic in Iraq

ARAMAIC WATCH: Ancient Language Gets Extended Life In Iraq (Brooke Anderson, WSJ Europe). This is a very good article on the current state of Aramaic in Kurdish Iraq, one of the few places where a relatively stable political environment is encouraging the language to prosper. Excerpt:
"We're very proud of our language," says Sister Jermine Daoud, a nun originally from Baghdad who grew up speaking the language and who now lives in Shaqlawa, in northern Iraq, one of the few places in the world where Aramaic is still spoken on the street. "After the war so many [Aramaic speakers] left. But I'm not worried about the language disappearing."

For years, extinction looked like a real possibility for Aramaic, especially after the Anfal campaign that lasted from 1986 to 1989, in which Saddam Hussein's government is believed to have destroyed more than 4,000 Kurdish, Christian and other minority villages in Northern Iraq, where Aramaic was widely spoken, in an attempt to "Arabize" the country's minorities.

This push was halted with the imposition of the no-fly zone in Iraq in 1991, and the subsequent establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government in 1992, as Aramaic was increasingly taught in Christian churches. Then, in 2003, following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Syriac—the classical written version of Neo Aramaic—along with Kurdish, Arabic and English classes became part of the curriculum of many schools.

Today, with the increased stability in the country's Kurdish region, and the subsequent move north by Christians fleeing inter-communal violence elsewhere in the country, the ancient language is making a comeback in the area. Of the estimated 30,000 people world-wide who speak a dialect of Neo-Aramaic, most live in Iraqi Kurdistan.

While the classical language is being taught in classrooms in Iraqi Kurdistan, the modern language is being broadcast from satellite stations. Two of the most popular stations that feature Aramaic are Ishtar, a privately funded station based in Ankawa, and Ashur, funded by the Assyrian Democratic Movement party.
Read it all.

Anne Rice's "Christ the Lord" to become a movie

ANNE RICE'S NOVEL CHRIST THE LORD is set to become a movie: BH Interview: Director Cyrus Nowrasteh, Anne Rice Join Forces to Bring ‘Christ the Lord’ to the Big Screen (Christian Toto, Big Hollywood). Excerpt:
Tensions can often flare between authors and filmmakers, but Nowrasteh reports a fluid give-and-take between his creative team, which includes his co-screenwriter and wife Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh. and Rice.

“Once we had a draft that everyone was excited about, we kicked it back to her. We wanted her detailed input and participation,” he says. “We felt a responsibility to her. We didn’t want to go out with the script until she put her stamp on it.”

It certainly helped that Rice is no stranger to films inspired by her texts.

“Anne understands the challenges inherent to adapting a novel to the screen,” he says, referring to Rice-inspired productions like “Interview with a Vampire” and “Queen of the Damned.”

“Christ the Lord,” is currently in pre-production, is what Nowrasteh calls a “work of informed fiction.”

“There’s a great chapter at the end of the book where she talks about her sources, what she worked from,” he says, including the New Testamanet, the Apocrypha and early legends pertaining to the life of Christ. “It’s not as if she sat down and made a story. She really did her research.”
For lots more on the novel, go here and follow the links. There was a report some years ago of a movie version in production in Israel, but I don't know what became of that project. It doesn't seem to be the same as this one.

More on the photoshopped Temple Mount photo

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Jihad Sites Pounce on Temple Photoshop Photos (Arutz Sheva). This with reference to the story last week of the publication by the IDF rabbinate of a photo of the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock photoshopped away. This article provides some back story:
The Elder of Zion blog reported that "the original photographer/artist is Mikhail Levit," and noted that the photo has been on websites as far back as 2008: "So obviously the IDF rabbinate did not edit the photo. It was a nice picture; the people behind the pamphlet found it somewhere online, and put it on the pamphlet."

A reserves officer who brought the photo to Haaretz's attention warned that “A world war could break out if someone tried to do something about that place," and opined that the Rabbinate "should be more cautious when approaching the subject.”

However, it was precisely the publication in Haaretz that drew jihadi and international attention to the story.
The link in the article to the Elder of Zion blog post doesn't work, but you can read it here.

It seems then that the publication of the photo in the pamphlet may have been a careless mistake. Someone thought it was a nice photo and somehow didn't notice the Dome of the Rock was missing. Such things happen happen from time to time and are embarrassing, but are not that big a deal.

But if this is the explanation, the IDF handled the situation poorly by claiming the photo was meant to show the Temple Mount in the time of the Second Temple instead of just 'fessing up to the mistake. The explanation is ridiculous and implies a complicity that is unhelpful.

Whether or not Haaretz should have published the article once the story came to their attention is another question. The writer of the blog post is sharply critical. I'm inclined to cut them a little slack, since Haaretz does make some effort (not without errors) to be evenhanded on the subject of the Temple Mount, covering issues like the Waqf's illicit excavations there and the work of the Temple Mount Sifting Project (see, e.g., here and links). It's the job of the media to keep governments on their toes, and that means publicizing their silly mistakes. I don't think the reaction or over-reaction of jihadi websites is of that much interest either way.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ancient menorah stamp found in Akko

A Stamp with the Temple Menorah was Uncovered in Excavations near Akko

The tiny stamp was used to identify baked products and it probably belonged to a bakery that supplied kosher bread to the Jews of Akko in the Byzantine period
A 1,500 year old seal bearing an image of the seven-branched Temple Menorah was discovered near the city of Akko.
A ceramic stamp from the Byzantine period (6th century CE) was discovered in excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is currently conducting at Horbat Uza east of Akko, prior to the construction of the Akko-Karmiel railroad track by the Israel National Roads Company. This find belongs to a group of stamps referred to as “bread stamps” because they were usually used to stamp baked goods.

According to Gilad Jaffe and Dr. Danny Syon, the directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “A number of stamps bearing an image of a menorah are known from different collections. The Temple Menorah, being a Jewish symbol par excellence, indicates the stamps belonged to Jews, unlike Christian bread stamps with the cross pattern which were much more common in the Byzantine period”. According to Syon, “This is the first time such a stamp is discovered in a controlled archaeological excavation, thus making it possible to determine its provenance and date of manufacture. The stamp is important because it proves that a Jewish community existed in the settlement of Uza in the Christian-Byzantine period. The presence of a Jewish settlement so close to Akko – a region that was definitely Christian at this time – constitutes an innovation in archaeological research”. The excavators add, “Due to the geographical proximity of Horbat Uza to Akko, we can speculate that the settlement supplied kosher baked goods to the Jews of Akko in the Byzantine period”.

The stamp is engraved with a seven-branched menorah atop a narrow base, and the top of the branches forms a horizontal line. A number of Greek letters are engraved around a circle and dot on the end of the handle. Dr. Leah Di Segni, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem suggested this is probably the name Launtius. This name was common among Jews of the period and also appears on another Jewish bread stamp of unknown provenance. According to Dr. Syon and Gilad Jaffe, “This is probably the name of the baker from Horbat Uza.”
Horbat Uza is a small rural settlement where clues were previously found that allude to it being a Jewish settlement: a clay coffin, a Shabbat lamp and jars with menorah patterns painted on them were discovered there.

Dr. David Amit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who has made a study of bread stamps, adds, “A potter engraved the menorah image in the surface of the stamp prior to firing it in a kiln, whereas the owner’s name was engraved in the stamp’s handle after firing. Hence we can assume that a series of stamps bearing the menorah symbol were produced for Jewish bakers, and each of these bakers carved his name on the handle, which also served as a stamp. In this way the dough could be stamped twice before baking: once with the menorah – the general symbol of the Jewish identity of Jewish bakeries, and the private name of the baker in each of these bakeries, which also guaranteed the bakery’s kashrut.

Click here to download high resolution photographs:

1. General view of the excavation. Photograph credit: Sky View Company, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

2, 3. Dr. Danny Syon, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

For further information, kindly contact: Dr. Danny Syon from the Israel Antiquities Authority, 052-5991712 /
Here are the three photographs:

Media coverage so far in Arutz Sheva (with a predictable spin): Temple Menorah Stamp Affirms Jewish Claim to Land.

Although the interpretation proposed in the press release is plausible enough, it should be noted that it isn't quite certain. Menorahs were a common Jewish symbol in antiquity, but there is some evidence that Christians used them too, possibly even on a bread stamp. See Ross S. Kraemer, "Jewish Tuna and Christian Fish: Identifying Religious Affiliation in Epigraphic Sources," HTR 84 (1991), 141-62, esp. p. 151. (The article is twenty years old, but I am unaware of a follow-up that re-evaluates the evidence she collects. If there is such, please drop me a note with the bibliographic information.)

More on ancient menorahs here and links.

(IAA press release via Joseph I. Lauer.)

Microarchaeology at Ashkelon

Using Modern Tools to Reconstruct Ancient Life

Published: January 9, 2012 (NYT)

ASHKELON, Israel — To the naked eye, the white, powdery substance appeared to be plaster. That’s what the professional and volunteer archaeologists at a dig in Israel concluded.

To be certain, though, they subjected the chalky dust to spectroscopy and a petrographic microscope, only to discover that it was not a manufactured substance, but decayed plant life and fecal matter.

What that meant to the archaeologists from the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon — a former seaport south of Tel Aviv that was home to successive civilizations over thousands of years — was that structures thought to have been inhabited by people were more likely occupied by animals. That revelation upended their view of what they were excavating.

“For archaeologists,” said the expedition’s co-director, Daniel M. Master, a professor at Wheaton College in Illinois, “it was the difference between a palace and a stable.”

This marriage of social and natural sciences is an emerging discipline that has been called microarchaeology by Steve Weiner, director of the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science in the Weizmann Institute in Israel, which is collaborating with the expedition.

Not surprisingly, the Ashkelon expedition remains at the cutting edge of archaeological method.

Are you a descendant of the House of David?

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Are you a descendant of the House of David?

Assuming David actually existed, and I think he probably did, this still strikes me as a case of over-interpreting the evidence.

Orthodox Christmas in Syriac and Church Slavonic

ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS in Syriac (for Russians in India!): Kerala church celebrates Russian Christmas. And in Church Slavonic: Orthodox Christians in Slovakia celebrate Christmas. I hope everyone celebrating has had a Merry Christmas in whatever language you were celebrating it in.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Conference: Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the Scriptures

CALL FOR SHORT PAPERS: Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the Scriptures, a conference at the Catholic University in Leuven in July. I will be there leading a seminar on "The Use of Scripture in Ezra Pseudepigrapha."

Beginner's Aramaic Zohar update

BEGINNER'S ARAMAIC ZOHAR UPDATE: Justin Jaron Lewis e-mails:
Following up on your "Aramaic Watch" posting of Sept. 15 2011, I wanted to let you know that the first semester of the pilot course on the Aramaic of the Zohar concluded well. Six students who began the semester without any knowledge of Semitic languages successfully learned to sound out vocalized Aramaic (we are using modern Hebrew pronunciation for convenience), got a basic sense of how roots work, learned a few hundred words of vocabulary, and, from mid-semester or earlier, have been reading and translating brief selections from the Zohar. The course continues this semester with a focus on verbs; I'm hoping also to arrive at a comfort level with unpointed texts. A draft textbook is in progress. Thank you for your interest!
Well done! Thanks for the update.

Another review of Hoffman, "The Dovekeepers"

A doomed mountaintop paradise

By Debby Waldman, January 7, 2012

The Dovekeepers

Alice Hoffman

Simon & Schuster

504 pp; $29.99

Review by Debby Waldman
Over 20-some novels, including The Red Garden and The Story Sisters, Hoffman has won well-deserved accolades for crafting intelligent page-turners about women imbued with magic. Shed’s outdone herself on that count here. Inspired by a visit to Masada, she has brought the community to life through the eyes of four unforgettable female characters.
Links to earlier reviews etc are here.

End of year roundup posts at Bible Places blog

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG has a couple of end-of-2011 roundup posts: Top Stories of 2011 and More Top Stories of 2011.

Tom Verenna reviews DSS exhibit in NYC

TOM VERENNA: Review of the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at the Discovery Center.

UPDATE: Background here and links.

Coptic Christmas

COPTIC CHRISTMAS: Egypt’s Christians celebrate Christmas amid fears (AP).

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Rivka Ulmer, "Psalm 22 in Pesiqta Rabbati"

Psalm 22 in Pesiqta Rabbati: The Suffering of the Jewish Messiah and Jesus

Chapter from The Jewish Jesus Revelation, Reflection, Reclamation (Purdue University Press: 2011)

By Rivka Ulmer
Department of Religion
Bucknell University
November 2011
The essay covers a wider range of texts than indicated in the title, including a surprising Qumran variant in Psalm 22. Follow the link for a link to the essay as a pdf file.

This is a description of the book in which it appears:
There is a general understanding within religious and academic circles that the incarnate Christ of Christian belief lived and died a faithful Jew. This volume addresses Jesus in the context of Judaism. By emphasizing his Jewishness, the authors challenge today’s Jews to reclaim the Nazarene as a proto-rebel rabbi and invite Christians to discover or rediscover the Church’s Jewish heritage. The essays in this volume cover historical, literary, liturgical, philosophical, religious, theological, and contemporary issues related to the Jewish Jesus. Several of them were originally presented at a three-day symposium on “Jesus in the Context of Judaism and the Challenge to the Church,” hosted by the Samuel Rosenthal Center for Judaic Studies at Case Western Reserve University in 2009.

In the context of pluralism, in the temper of growing interreligious dialogue, and in the spirit of reconciliation, encountering Jesus as living history for Christians and Jews is both necessary and proper. This book will be of particular interest to scholars of the New Testament and Early Church who are seeking new ways of understanding Jesus in his religious and cultural milieu, as well Jewish and Christian theologians and thinkers who are concerned with contemporary Jewish and Christian relationships.